When working in a tasting room, you never know who is going to walk through the door. The guests might be completely new to olive oil or they might be experts. They may want an in depth tasting or they may just be interested in one type. Fortunately, we have something for everyone. However, being mentally prepared for everyone takes a little more work.
The key is knowing your own strengths. Personally, I love food. Eating is one of my favorite things to do. Therefore I’m more likely to talk about food pairings than say the health benefits of olive oil. I have a background in science but I know that not everyone is going to be interested in that aspect of olive oil. So, not only is food a topic I enjoy but it’s something everyone can enjoy. The tastes of the different oils are going to speak for themselves. Everyone is going to have their own reactions to each of the oils. But, by engaging the guests in a topic that everyone loves, the experience is going to be more enjoyable for everyone involved, myself included.
A family came in the other day. They had never done an olive oil tasting before. The two little girls were so incredibly excited to hear that our White Peach Balsamic goes great on vanilla ice cream (the younger one’s favorite flavor) while their older brother was more interested in trying our Chili oil on popcorn. After their mother and I swapped tips for mashed potatoes with our Leccino olive oil they headed straight to Safeway for supplies.
You never know what’s going to stick with someone. So talk about what you know and love. Excitement is contagious!